What are the alternatives to trial by jury? - Iaculus
From my IANAL understanding, a single judge, or a panel of judges (normally 3 or 5), and the only alternatives.
What are their pros and cons relative to what we've already got? - Iaculus
Pros: Cheaper, less able to be swayed by cheap tactics of lawyers, less bitching and moaning about being forced
to perform your civic duty, more knowledgable about the finer points of the law. Cons: More prone to systemic corruption, more of a separation between the law and the common man.
Finally, taking the above two questions into account, do you think we should stick with trial by jury as-is, or adopt one of the other options? - Iaculus
I think what we need to do is put some small modifications to trial by jury. Namely, devise a method to ensure greater equity in skill between the prosecution and defense, more sharply limit the number of people who can get out of or are dismissed from jury duty, reduce the number of people the lawyers can toss out of the jury pool, and greater oversight of judges to ensure there's no conflicts of interest. I would also like to see plea bargains justified to a jury (maybe a lesser jury of 6 or so?) before they can be accepted by the court.
A jury is designed to prevent the state from abusing the court system to arbitrarily jail people. - USAF
What this guy said. While it certainly makes for good movies and television, I hope that twelve people picked for major cases like murder, assault, etc, are actually carefully considering the evidence from both sides and not merely being swayed by emotion. Since the juries often have a hand in sentancing the accused, this is doubly important.